Badge - Rated by Super Lawyers Victor A. Rotolo
Badge - Rated by Super Lawyers Anthony P. Kearns third
Badge - Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Badge - Multi Million Dollar Advocates Forums
Badge - New Jersey Supreme Court Certified Attorney
Badge - New Jersey's Best Lawyers For Families 2018
Badge - AV Preeminent Victor A. Rotolo 2024
Badge - Client Champion Gold 2024
Badge - Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce
Badge - Top 100 The National Trial Lawyers
Please click Award & Selection Criteria & Methodology for information regarding the specific criteria used for selection of each of the above awards.

Assault by Auto

In New Jersey, reckless driving that results in bodily injury to another person could result in charges of Assault by Auto or Vessel. Frequently, this charge is filed in connection with other charges such as DUI.

When Assault by Auto results in bodily injury, it is considered a disorderly conduct offense; whereas incidents that result in serious bodily injury are considered 4th degree offenses. Each carries penalties of possible jail time and/or fines, along with collateral consequences. If you are accused of Assault by Auto or Vessel, it is advisable to consult with a criminal defense attorney. 

Anthony Kearns and Victor Rotolo are experienced trial attorneys prepared to provide you with legal counsel from the moment you are charged through trial, if necessary. When dealing with the defense of criminal charges, including Assault by Auto, Messrs. Kearns, Rotolo and the other attorneys at Kearns Rotolo Law will provide the representation you need to protect your rights.

Anthony P. Kearns, III, Former Two-Term Hunterdon County Prosecutor

Anthony Kearns has experience working on both sides of the criminal justice systems and has garnered statewide recognition as a criminal defense attorney. He is the only Hunterdon County prosecutor to date to have been appointed to that position for two terms, giving him the distinction of being Hunterdon County’s longest serving prosecutor. This experience afforded Mr. Kearns unique insight into how the State prepares and prosecutes criminal cases, which he now uses to mount skilled and powerful defense of the charges against his clients.

Mr. Kearns was chosen for membership to the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers in 2024, an invitation-only professional organization composed of the premier trial lawyers from each state or region who meet precise qualifications as civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense trial lawyers.

Victor A. Rotolo, Trial Attorney with More Than Four Decades of Experience

Victor Rotolo, a former officer with the Elizabeth, NJ Police Department, has 40-plus years’ experience as a practicing trial attorney in the State of New Jersey. During this time, he has represented thousands of clients in all stages of litigation throughout the courts of New Jersey and has successfully argued cases before the New Jersey Supreme Court as well.

New Jersey Super Lawyers List

Super Lawyers BadgeAnthony P. Kearns and Victor A. Rotolo have been included on the List of New Jersey Super Lawyers for 2024. Mr. Rotolo has been included on this list since 2006 marking this his nineteenth consecutive year of inclusion. This is Mr. Kearns first year of selection. The list of New Jersey Super Lawyers is generated by the Thomson Reuters organization which employs the following methodology and set of standards to compile the list each year. Super Lawyers Selection Methodology [No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court.]

Martindale-Hubbell Rating

AV Preeminent BadgeBoth Anthony P. Kearns and Victor A. Rotolo have achieved the highest rating of “AV” by Martindale-Hubbell, the oldest nationally recognized legal reference company in the country. Martindale-Hubbell employs the following methodology and set standards to determine ratings. Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings Methodology[No aspect of the advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court.]

Certified Civil Trial Attorney

Certified Civil Trial Attorney BadgeVictor A. Rotolo is certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Civil Trial Attorney.

"A certified attorney is more than just an attorney who specializes in a particular area of law. A New Jersey attorney who is certified by the Supreme Court as a civil trial attorney must have:

  • been a member in good standing of the New Jersey bar for over 5 years
  • demonstrated a substantial level of experience in civil trial law
  • been favorably evaluated by other attorneys and judges familiar with his or her work
  • taken and passed a written examination in civil trial law."

Source: Supreme Court of New Jersey, Board on Attorney Certification, Brochure on Certified Civil Trial Attorney. See Rule 1:39: Specialty Certification of Attorneys.

Assault by Auto Penalties and Consequences

In Assault by Auto cases, it only has to be proven that the vehicle involved was operated in a reckless or aggressive manner. Proof of intent to injure another person is not required.

Examples of reckless driving include, but are not limited to:

  • Failing to obey traffic rules
  • Making a u-turn over double yellow lines
  • Running red lights or stop signs
  • Tailgating
  • Weaving in and out of traffic

Examples of aggressive driving include, but are not limited to:

  • Blocking other drivers from changing lanes or passing
  • Changing lanes without signaling
  • Cutting in front of another vehicle and then slowing down
  • Speeding in heavy traffic

The penalties associated with Assault by Auto vary depending upon the extent of injuries incurred. Incidents that result in bodily injury and considered a disorderly conduct offense are punishable by up to 6 months in county jail and fines up to $1,000. When the incident results in serious bodily injury, however, the 4th degree offense is punishable by up to 18 months in prison and fines up to $10,000.

Depending on the extent of injuries incurred and circumstances surrounding the incident (i.e., driving on or within 1,000 feet of school property or through a school crossing, driving aggressively, or driving under the influence), the penalties for Assault by Auto can increase and range between 5 and 10 years in prison and between $15,000 and $150,000 in fines.

In addition to the above, there are collateral consequences involved, including: a criminal record that can make it more difficult for the offender to obtain employment, housing and, in some cases, admission to school; the suspension of professional licenses (i.e., law and medical), loss of the right to vote; and suspension of driving privileges.

The criminal defense attorneys at Kearns Rotolo Law have the experience to protect your rights and represent your best interests in the face of these charges. Messrs. Kearns and Rotolo draw on experience from both the legal and judicial systems to develop strategies for helping their clients’ legal issues. Together with their legal team, they will work to defend you against any criminal or Assault by Auto charges you may be facing and to expunge your criminal records if and when applicable. Contact Kearns Rotolo Law today!

What Our Clients are Saying

I was very proud to be represented by Tony and felt secure at a time I needed a compass to head out of a difficult bind. Confidence in your counsel and a sense of security in understanding how best to proceed are important reasons to consider Anthony Kearns and his team of outstanding lawyers.

- Lynn

Tony was excellent! He was knowledgeable, responsive and on-time. His experience as a County Prosecutor definitely helped our case as he knows how the legal system works and how to navigate. I highly recommend Tony and his office.

- Matt

Thankfully I found Kearns Rotolo Law and I had a wonderful experience working with Charles Rifici on a difficult divorce/child custody issue. I am so grateful for all the work and guidance he provided. He always took his time and diligently went through all my options with me so I could make the decisions that benefitted my family and I. I will be forever thankful for the top notch services he provided.

- Cinthya

In March of 2022 I contacted Kearns Rotolo Law Firm with an urgent problem, Mr. Kearns and Mr. Rotolo contacted me immediately to give me hope as to rectify my problem. The end result was Mr Kearns was able to solve my issue through extreme professionalism, I am very grateful I found Kearns Rotolo Law firm and I would recommend their law firm to anyone that has a less extreme problem or a more complex problem, I am very grateful for their services.

- Bill

I met with Mr. Kearns yesterday about a devastating situation affecting our family. Mr. Kearns and his entire staff made us feel extremely comfortable and showed our family a compassionate side that gave us comfort in the most uncomfortable of situations. Thank you very much. God Bless.

- Christian